Reliability testing?


#1

What type of reliability testing are you performing on your systems to qualify them for shipment?


#2

Speaking generally, we’re going to be running the machines a lot, in a lot of different environments, both realistic and simulated. For example Maya, our mechanical engineering intern, built a cool rig that tests a bunch of tubes at once so they can run, pulsed or continuous, around the clock. We’ve also got a bunch of compliance testing to do, like CDRH and UL. That’s off the top of my head, it’s primarily Mark (our CTO)'s department, and if I ask him to publish it, he’s going to give me whatfor about posting proprietary information on the internet. We’re a good compliment; he would rather sneak into stores without an opening day announcement, where my inclination is more along the lines of livestreaming the lab. : )


#3

@dan: That describes reliability testing for standard use. Will there also be reliability testing for worst case shipping issues? I had a 3D printer I bought a while back which arrived with a motor sitting loose in the middle of the case because the plastic mount it was in to bolt to the frame snapped off due to minor shaking during shipping. Would hate to see anything remotely similar with the GlowForge.

And full snap off isn’t the only potential issue, will mirrors remain aligned through numerous temperature changes and random jostling?


#4

Ha! We were doing the low budget version of this last week: putting a test Glowforge in its shipping case, then dropping it on concrete. We’ve got a ways to go but we’ll be there when we ship.


#5

I was hoping for a more controlled test. There are a number of packaging companies that can quickly test shipping packaging using various random vibration profiles and do controlled drop. These tests can find issues like screws backing out (happens often when thread locker isn’t used). With internally adjust optics, I would think this important. The company I work at uses these resources all the time.

The overall system (not shipping) testing can be as easy as running the machine constantly at elevated temperatures, and testing for repeatability.

Just a thought.


#6

That is exactly what we will be doing. I was describing what we did last week.